Doctrine and Covenants 25: Emma Smith—an Elect Lady

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 36–37

The Prophet Joseph Smith had been married to Emma for three years when he received the revelation found inDoctrine and Covenants 25. Those three years, 1827–30, had been filled with many tense and trying moments. Emma Smith, however, had stood by her husband and supported him faithfully. Part of this revelation was fulfilled 12 years later when she was called to be president of the Relief Society on March 17, 1842 (History of the Church, 4:552–53).Speaking at a general women’s meeting, President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Insofar as I know, this is the only revelation given specifically to a woman, and in concluding it the Lord said, ‘This is my voice unto all’ (D&C 25:16). Therefore, thecounsel given by the Lord on this occasion is applicable to each of you” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 109; orEnsign, Nov. 1984, 90).Three months after the Church was organized, the Lord called Emma Smith “to make a selection of sacred hymns, … which is pleasing unto me” (D&C 25:11). The hymnbook she compiled was published in 1835. As with Latter-day hymnbooks since, it contained some hymns written by Latter-day Saints and some used in other churches.

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 25

Elect(v. 3)Chosen 
Consoling(v. 5)Comforting 
Expound(v. 7)Explain 
Exhort(v. 7)Encourage 
Cleave unto(v. 13)Hold on to 

Doctrine and Covenants 25:7—What Does It Mean That Emma Was “Ordained”?

President Joseph Fielding Smith explained: “The term ‘ordain’ was used generally in the early days of the Church in reference to both ordination and setting apart, and, too, correctly according to the meaning of the word. Men holding the Priesthood were said to have been ‘ordained’ to preside over branches and to perform special work. Sisters also were said to have been ‘ordained’ when they were called to some special duty or responsibility. In later years we developed a distinction between ordain and setting apart. Men are ordained to offices in the Priesthood and set apart to preside over stakes, wards, branches, missions, and auxiliary organizations. The sisters are set apart—not ordained—as presidents of auxiliary organizations, to missions, etc. This saying that Emma Smith was ‘ordained’ to expound scripture, does not mean that she had conferred upon her the Priesthood, but that she was set apart to this calling, which found its fulfillment in the Relief Society of the Church” (Church History and Modern Revelation,1:126).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 25.

Activity A iconCommandments and Promises

  1. 1.

    Make two columns in your notebook. Label one “Commandments or Callings” and the other “Blessings or Promises.” SearchDoctrine and Covenants 25and list in the columns what the Lord said to Emma Smith.

  2. 2.

    Choose one of the commandments and one of the blessings that could also apply to you and describe how you can keep that commandment and why you would like that blessing.

Activity B Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Doctrine and Covenants 25:12

ReadDoctrine and Covenants 25:12and answer the following questions:

  1. 1.

    What do you think the Lord meant by the “song of the heart”?

  2. 2.

    How is righteous music like a prayer?

  3. 3.

    What kinds of music do you think the Lord does not “delight” in?

  4. 4.

    Read the following statement and write about what you can do in your personal life to surround yourself with worthy music:

“Music is an important and powerful part of life. It can be an influence for good that helps you draw closer to Heavenly Father. However, it can also be used for wicked purposes. Unworthy music may m harmless, but it can have evil efects on your mind and spirit.

“Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit, encourages immorality, glorifies violence, uses foul or offensive language, or promotes Satanism or other evil practices” (For the Strength of Youth[pamphlet, 2001], 20).